Music

Talib Kweli Announces A New Patreon-Funded Album, ‘Cultural Currency’

Talib Kweli addressed projects new and old this week. The rapper and host of the People’s Party podcast announced he’s releasing a new record exclusively for Patreon subscribers while also finally speaking to the highly-anticipated Black Star record produced by Madlib.

Kweli teased his upcoming project Cultural Currency, which will be made available only to those subscribed to his Patreon. His page will feature a three-tier subscription service with various benefits. Fans who subscribe for $5 a month will get access to a monthly Kweli-curated unreleased track by various rappers. Those who opt-in for $10 a month will have the added benefit of exclusive tracks from Kweli himself, who plans on dropping a new song each month for a year. The top-tier subscription, starting at $25 a month, awards fans a signed vinyl of the rapper’s 2011 LP Gutter Rainbows along with access to a monthly Q&A livestream.

In a statement, Kweli explained why he’s moving to a subscription-based platform: “I am considered an underground rapper. My lyrics critique the status quo. On paper, I was not supposed to be a successful artist. I succeeded in spite of the odds because I was always able to go around the industry and connect with my fans directly. When the music industry told me no, I built an industry around myself. Working with Patreon is the next step in this evolution. Patreon was created by artists for artists. I am proud to be born who I am, but my chosen tribe consists of artists and people who love art. Sharing my art on Patreon allows me to connect with my tribe in amazing and innovative ways.”

In other news, Kweli imparted some disappointing news for fans of his Mos Def collaboration Black Star. While Kweli had previously stated a new record produced by Madlib was slated for release, the rapper now says the entire project has been scrapped. According to HipHop N More, Kweli addressed the fate of his Mos Def collaborative duo Black Star in a since-deleted Instagram post:

“I’m tired of being silent about this. I tried my best y’all. Flew around the globe. Paid for this out of pocket. All for the culture. I’m a fan of Black Star too. I want to see this come out as bad as y’all do, or more. But people who never made a beat, never wrote a rhyme in they life got they fingers in the pie and are being disrespectful to what me and my brothers built. It’s in Gods hands now. I’m on to other things, life is too short to be disrespected by culture vultures. Maybe y’all will get to hear this album after I’m gone.”

Check out Kweli’s Patreon page here.

Update: Kweli tells Uproxx he deleted his Instagram post about Black Star because he and Madlib spoke on the phone and resolved the situation.

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